Structural Fabrication Works

The Transformation Phase of Conceptualized Complex Architecture to Reality

Be it the Brooklyn Bridge or the Burj Khalifa (Dubai Tower), it is now an established fact that the fabrication work phase is an essential part of complex engineering projects. Rolling back the history of engineering activities, detailing occupies a prominent place and is a guiding path for the smooth and safe execution of installation/construction.

Previously, detailing activities were performed by hand sketching on a board. With the advancement of software technology, the detailing moved from board to computer screens with the help of building information modeling software (BIMs) like Autodesk’s AutoCAD, Bentley’s MicroStation, etc. As technology progressed, the two-dimensional (2D) detailing transitioned to a three-dimensional (3D) presentation, by leveraging 3D modeling software such as Trimble’s TEKLA, Aveva’s BoCAD, Bentley’s Structural Detailing, etc. Construction material that was previously manually fabricated, with the physical reading of 2D detailed drawings, has been replaced today by computer numeric control (CNC) machines. These CNC machines have automated the process, leading to enhancement in the precise cutting of material, optimum utilization of material, reduction in generation of structural steel waste, and so on.

Although the maturation of detailing activity is mainly due to software or machine operated fabrication works, the advancement of skill in engineering and fabrication continues to serve as the foundation for evolving the presentation of drawings/3D models and the handling, cutting, and sourcing of material using CNC machines. The detailed precision of structural steel and construction material generated from these drawings has cemented its value as a strategic step preceding, the sourcing materials for construction.

These drawings help engineers and designers to model the proposed building structure, prepare drawings and marking plans, and fabricate material accordingly. Structural detailing offers comprehensive analysis on all the required construction component specifications as translated from architectural designs and provides a virtual environment to stress analyze the intended materials as part of the structure. Creating accurate structural fabrication drawings requires a partner with long-term experience in structural engineering, design fabrication of complex architecture, advanced knowledge of material stress analysis, and expertise in engineering/structural based software.

A major challenge for a client in Singapore in constructing a sports stadium with curved structures, a dome ceiling, movable roof, and multiple assemblies was estimating the quantity of structural steel and construction material needed within each phase of the construction. With Avineon’s proven reputation for managing complex engineering support projects and strong expertise in CAD, steel detailing, and structural 3D modeling, the client reached out for support services. Avineon used Tekla to create a 3D model structure of the stadium along with connections and produced shop fabrication drawings, with the materials intended for use. The model provided detailed information on the structure of the stadium, the preparation of assembly along with the site erection, and specific part detail drawings for the project. This facilitated the fabrication of source material, using CNC machines for cutting and drilling, preparing for assembly fabrication, and minimizing on-site welding works. Overall, Avineon exceeded the client’s expectations in terms of subject matter expertise in structural engineering and planning while delivering comprehensive structural fabrication drawings within the expected timeline and budget.

Yongnam Structural Fabrication
Yongnam Structural Fabrication

3D View of Architecture

Another key challenge the client experienced was the critical need for the timely furnishing of fabrication drawings, to foster early detection of installation problems and provide local as well as global coordinates of every single part related to all aspects of the assemblies. The pool of skilled workforce available at Avineon answered the challenging requirement by leveraging technical and engineering expertise to provide additional value to the structural fabrication detailing services. The presentation pattern of local and global coordinates made by Avineon in fabrication drawings helped them to install structural steel members precisely and efficiently. This helped the client to commission the project without any hindrances and furthered the client’s relationship with Avineon.

Today a major challenge in the successful completion of any complex project is the accuracy of structural fabrication drawings, so as to reduce hindrances during the sourcing and installation of material. Even more essential is finding a partner like Avineon that has the right balance of subject matter expertise in the right engineering discipline and software knowledge to help construction companies build safe, well-analyzed structures and buildings regardless of the complexity of the architectural design.

Structural Fabrication Works2017-12-06T09:48:02+00:00

Structuring the Unstructured

Metadata and Tag Indexing to Intelligently Catalog a Facility’s Unstructured Engineering Documents and Drawings

Maintaining an intelligent repository of up-to-date engineering drawings and documents about facilities is usually not top of mind for manufacturing plants and refineries. Some of these plants are so old that during their time of construction, the technology to store the drawings online did not exist.

Even if plants and refineries had a centralized place for storing these complex documents, the documents were usually available only in the form of images, PDFs and scanned documents or in a non-electronic format like large paper documents or manual drawings, which can make finding the right plans or engineering documents at the right time a difficult proposition. Essentially all the hay is in a large haystack but companies may still be only looking for a needle. Without structured indexing and metadata for all the files in a repository, especially with plants that have complex engineering plans/drawings/designs, finding the right documents to conduct maintenance or operations or make plans for a renovation becomes a challenge.

Needle in a Haystack

Avineon, with its storied history of engineering services and data expertise, has the unique ability to review complex engineering documents across a company’s many facilities and plants, create and tag relevant metadata for each document, and architect a repository that efficiently catalogs all the documents.

A manufacturing company in the Middle East, reached out to Avineon for help with a similar challenge. Whenever they wanted to update or modify documents (both complex engineering plans and simple forms) about a given area of a plant for renovation or operational changes, the company was unsure what documents to update or where to find them. The company needed Avineon to create an Electronic Data Management System (EDMS) and a way to quickly find the right documents on demand. Avineon suggested metadata, an information index, which classifies documents based on their content and allows users to easily extract the target document from a large pool of digital drawings/documents.

Metadata Organized

Engineering experts from Avineon with strong technical knowledge, helped the client by creating the metadata and tag indexing for thousands of drawings/ documents, templates and Functional Design Specifications (FDS). All the document types and content, including details related to plant design, total area and maintenance areas were checked and matched for categorization. The information was grouped under specific tags, in a specific format and was uploaded in the company’s EDMS. The tags were mainly segregated depending on type and discipline and then linked to the respective documents, leading to easier retrieval of a document or information for the client by using options like simple query, full-text retrieval, drill-down, and navigation etc.

With proper metadata indexing and the right EDMS, the client was able to review any specific plant document even remotely. It essentially helped the client in converting a large amount of information (plant details, supplier data, reference documents, document tags, purchase orders and contract relationships) that was earlier unstructured, into documented files that can now be easily located. This ultimately helped them in better decision making and managing inconsistencies from what was really in the plant versus what was in the designs.

Overall, Avineon helped the client structure a mass of documents and files that were disparate and unstructured throughout the organization. With Avineon’s expertise in understanding engineering documentation and technical designs along with a deep understanding in creating a robust repository, the client was able to trust Avineon to carry out a strategy that proved efficient and cost effective across the client’s facilities and plants.

Structuring the Unstructured2017-07-31T19:26:17+00:00

A New View of Aging Assets

“Smart” Plans to Audit and Maintain Legacy Assets

3D modeling continues to add value to different industries and customers, as companies try to catalog assets or the environment around them, recreate or replace antiquated drawings, and/or develop interactive models that help drive more efficient maintenance and operation. The use of smart 3D models in the energy and utility industry has created an innovative way to manage aging plants by providing updated smart views of assets with accuracy down to the millimeter (mm) level. These smart plans can be the basis for plant operations and provide another level of guidance for maintenance, ordering parts, or updating assets within the plant.

In the past, creating immersive smart 3D models of legacy plants required exhaustive manual surveying and then converting the information to achieve a truly impactful, usable model. Today, with the advancement of surveying technology, such as laser scans using point cloud data, and an engineering model services provider like Avineon, creating Smart 3D Models has become really easy.

Antiquated Plant Plans

Antiquated Plant Plans

Updated Smart 3D Model

Updated “Smart” 3D Model

With Smart 3D Models, plant owners enhance overall plant operations in two significant ways. With millimeter (mm) level precision, Smart 3D Models provide a more efficient planning tool for modifications and operational changes across a power plant. In addition, accessibility of Smart 3D Models is not limited to those with access to paper plans or antiquated software. This allows models to be accessible even on workstations across the plant workforce.

In order to capture data using the laser scanned point cloud technique, benchmarks are first created on the local coordinate system of the plant. These benchmarks then become the landmarks of the plan as they are usually fixed, accessible, and viewable. Next, the plant is broken into parts with specific High Definition Survey (HDS) targets that require detailed surveying (i.e. turbine, reactor, cooling tower). Based on the specific measurements taken from the HDS target and the identified benchmarks, a laser scan creates a point cloud reflection of the HDS target.

Point Cloud Data after a laser scan

Point Cloud Data after a Laser Scan

360-degree panoramic photographs are also taken of the HDS target, which is linked to the smart plot plan. Rather than additional manual measuring and surveying as needed with more expensive and archaic surveying techniques, the laser scan and subsequent point cloud data diagrams are thoroughly analyzed digitally for accuracy.

In the post scan analysis, a registration process is implemented once the HDS target point cloud data is received. The registration process is a method of aligning various point cloud data plans into one cohesive coordinate system. An expert partner like Avineon helps you in converting the point cloud plans with HDS software into geometric models. Measurements are made directly into the 360-degree panoramic views with software like TruView. Integrating the appropriate intelligence in 3D CAD Plant Design Applications with data from piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs), a complete Smart 3D Model of the plant is generated.

Primitive R3D Model

Primitive R3D Model

Lastly, with 3D reviews and clash detection, a final “Smart” 3D model is rendered, which incorporates all aspects of the asset or assets of the plant in one immersive system.  This process can also be tailored with a specific 3D model software of preference.

Final Smart 3D Plan

Final “Smart” 3D Plan

Many global utility companies have benefitted from the laser scanned point cloud data and our 3D modeling experience. With immersive dimensional views and millimeter level accuracy, plant owners can proactively audit and manage aging assets.  Overall, as a cost effective solution, Smart 3D Models can improve safety with better accessibility and more informed plans, improve maintenance across the plant and reduce the complexity and cost of extensions or modifications to plants in the future.

A New View of Aging Assets2020-11-17T12:48:00+00:00